June 11, 2013
PITTSBURGH- University of Pittsburgh’s head women’s volleyball coach Dan Fisher has announced the Panthers' 2013 schedule, which features six NCAA tournament teams from 2012, four regular-season tournaments and a challenging 19-match conference schedule in the ACC.
Fisher, entering his first year as head coach at Pitt after leading Concordia University to its first-ever NAIA National Championship title, looks to create a competitive environment for the Panthers by putting top notch opposition on the schedule.
As Pitt makes its move to the ACC, the Panthers will face six teams that appeared in the 2012 RPI top 50, including four that were ranked in the top 25 nationally.
Pitt opens the 2013 season with a two-day tournament at Missouri from August 30-31. Attending the tournament along with Pitt is Arkansas State, South Dakota and Idaho State. The Panthers will square off against South Dakota for the first time in school history, and Pitt leads the all-time series between each of the other three teams.
On September 3, the University of Pittsburgh will host the Pitt International Classic at Fitzgerald Field House. Pitt will face Dabrowa, a Polish professional women’s volleyball team, in an exhibition contest. Dabrowa competes in Pool D of the Women’s Champions League in Poland, and finished third out of four teams in their division in 2012. The contest will serve as a different competitive perspective for the Panthers, as well as an opportunity for geographical diversity in their schedule for the 2013 season.
Following the Pitt International Classic, the Panthers are invited to a four-team tournament at the University of Connecticut from September 6-7. Pitt will face Albany, Northeastern and the host Huskies. Pitt has never played the Albany Great Danes and has only matched up against Northeastern twice, but the Panthers are very familiar with UConn. Pitt holds the all-time series advantage 15-8.
Pitt will then travel to South Florida for another tournament from September 13-14. This tournament is between Pitt, USF, FAU and perennial power Purdue, which was ranked No. 15 in the nation at the end of last season and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Pitt faced USF and Purdue last season and lost to both teams.
From September 20-21, the University of Pittsburgh will host the Pitt Panther Invitational, a four-team tournament at Fitzgerald Field House. The Pitt Panther Invitational is the Panthers' last tournament before the start of ACC competition, and it will include matches against Cornell, Rutgers and Morehead State. Pitt beat Rutgers last season and holds the all-time series against Rutgers 28-6. The Invitational is also the start of a seven-match home stand.
The Panthers open ACC play with four home matches, beginning with Clemson on September 27. Pitt will then host Georgia Tech (Sept. 29), Virginia Tech (Oct.4) and Virginia (Oct.5).
The Panthers take their 2013 ACC season to the road with back-to-back matches against two teams that were ranked in the top-25 and made it to the NCAA tournament last season: Miami (Oct. 11) and Florida State (Oct. 13). Florida State won the ACC in 2012, going 18-2 in league play.
Pitt returns home for games against Boston College (Oct.18) and former Big East rival Syracuse (Oct. 20). The Orange, along with the Irish of Notre Dame (who the Panthers will play on the road on Nov. 3), joins Pitt in its move from the Big East to the ACC for 2013. The Irish made it to the NCAA Tournament last season. In addition to playing Syracuse at home, Pitt will face Syracuse away (Nov. 15) this season. Pitt’s other ACC home contests for 2013 also include Wake Forest (Nov. 8), Duke (Nov. 10), Maryland (Nov. 22) and NC State (Nov. 24). NC State was another team on the Panthers’ schedule that made the NCAA Tournament last season.
Pitt’s other road games will be played at NC State (Oct. 25), at UNC (Oct. 27), at Maryland (Oct. 30), at BC (Nov.17), at Virginia (Nov. 29) and finally at Virginia Tech (Nov. 30). UNC had a successful campaign in 2012, ranking as high as 18 in the RPI and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pitt is a combined 104-53 all-time against current ACC teams, which includes Big East matches against Syracuse and Notre Dame.
The Panthers look to earn an NCAA Tournament berth this season for the first time since 2004. The ACC does not play a conference tournament.